Saturday History Tours | American Battlefield Trust
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Buddy Secor

Saturday History Tours

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Schedule and tour lineup is subject to change.

From Richmond to Appomattox Court House with Patrick Schroeder

Walking Level: Light. Approximately 1-1.5 miles of total walking on some uneven terrain.

Description: The Confederate evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg on April 2, 1865, initiated a fast and furious campaign that culminated in the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's forces at Appomattox Court House; unofficially marking the end of the Civil War to many history buffs. Follow in the footsteps of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee and they raced westward—Lee in search of supplies and an opportunity to turn south and meet Joe Johnston's army in North Carolina—and Grant trying to bag the "Gray Fox" before he could escape once more. Join National Park Service historian Patrick Schroder as he follows in the footsteps of Grant and Lee in their campaign to Appomattox. 

 

Lee vs McClellan: The Seven Days Battles of 1862 with Doug Crenshaw

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2.5 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: Shortly after assuming command of his newly dubbed Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee undertook an aggressive offensive campaign against the Federal Army outside of Richmond, Virginia. In a matter of roughly one week, Lee wrestled the initiative away from the Federals, secured the Confederate capital, and laid plans to carry the war to the enemy. Join author and historian Doug Crenshaw as he explores some of the most famous actions of the Seven Days Battles—from Gaines's Mill to Malvern Hill—learn more about Lee's first successful campaign as an army commander, and visit some of the land that members of the American Battlefield Trust helped to preserve in the Richmond area. 

 

Historic Homes and Gardens of the Richmond Area

Walking Level: Light. Expect less than one mile of walking and standing in a garden and museum environment.

Description: Visit several unique homes to learn about Richmond from the mid-1700s to the early 1930s. Stops will include Tuckahoe Plantation - Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home; Agecroft Plantation – a 16th century English manor house relocated to the United States; and Maggie Walker’s Home – a prominent community leader and businesswoman, she was the first African-American woman in the United States to found a bank.

 

North Anna to Cold Harbor, and Key Points In Between with Bobby Krick

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: The Union army's hike from the North Anna River toward the Pamunkey River was the most grueling march of the entire Overland Campaign.  Our bus will follow the obscure and original roads used by that army, passing many historic buildings on our way to the Pamunkey crossings.  From there our tour will examine the cavalry battlefield at Haw's Shop (in all likelihood our last glimpse of it in a nearly pristine condition) and the often forgotten action at Totopotomoy Creek.  We also will look at the early parts of the Battle of Cold Harbor, including the first-ever group stop at the 50-acre parcel recently saved by the Trust at the Old Cold Harbor crossroads.

 

Photos, Forts, and Fighting with Garry Adelman and Mike Gorman

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: The Richmond area is one of the most photographed regions from the American Civil War--and the most photographed places are often the least known today! Better yet, these places hold some of the most compelling stories of the war. Join American Battlefield Trust Chief Historian Garry Adelman and National Park Service historian Mike Gorman, as they take you back in time through words, photographs and many gesticulations!  Visit Fort Harrison, Fort Brady, Drewry's Bluff, and other sites as two of the leading Civil War photo experts immerse you in history, photos, and fun. 

 

The World Turned Upside Down: The 1781 Siege of Yorktown with Daniel T. Davis

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2.5 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: In the spring of 1781, a British army led by Charles, Lord Cornwallis invaded Virginia. Following a campaign against the Marquis de Lafayette, Cornwallis established a base at the old tobacco port of Yorktown. His new position quickly drew the attention of Gen. George Washington. As summer faded into fall, Washington, at the head of a combined Franco-American army and with the help of the French navy, cornered the British at Yorktown. The outcome of the ensuing operations would help determine the fate of a young United States. Join Dan Davis, the American Battlefield Trust’s Education Associate, for an exploration of the Campaign and Siege of Yorktown. Visit British and American fortifications, the Grand French Battery, Redoubts 9 and 10, and other sites at Yorktown critical to victory in America’s War for Independence.

 

To the North Anna River with Gordon C. Rhea

Walking Level: Heavy. Approximately 5 miles of total walking on rugged, hilly, and uneven terrain.

Description: On the evening of May 20, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant initiated an operation designed to break his deadlock with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Spotsylvania Court House.  On the morning of the tour, we will follow the routes of the armies out of Spotsylvania Court House, starting at Massaponax Church and continuing through Todd’s Tavern, Guinea Station, Milford Station, Mount Carmel Church, and other highlights of the movement that culminated in the Union attack at Henagan’s Redoubt and Chesterfield Bridge.  After lunch, we will hike the main trail at the North Anna Battlefield Park, tracing the western leg of Lee’s defensive formation to Ox Ford.  We will then visit property recently acquired by the American Battlefield Trust near Jericho Mills, where Union forces first gained a foothold south of the river.  Several of the sites will be on private property and otherwise inaccessible.